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Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

I am really excited about this recipe – the kiddos and I LOVE popcorn!  What I don’t love is the cost and unnecessary ingredients in normal microwave popcorn or the hassle and clean up of most homemade recipes.  Recently I learned that you can make your own microwave bags with just a brown paper bag and some kernels.  Our grocery store sells 100 packs of paper bags for $2.09 and popcorn kernels for $1.10/pound.  This equates to about 16 cents a bag.  Even if you splurge for pricier organic kernels, it’s cheap, easy, convenient and delicious… I am stoked!

Homemade Microwave Popcorn


  • ¼ – ½ cup popcorn kernels (1/4 cup makes a 2 serving snack bag, ½ cup makes a full size bag)
  • Optional – salt, butter, oil or whatever else you like on your popcorn


  • Small brown paper bag (regular lunch bag size)


  • Pour popcorn kernels into the bag.
  • Fold down the top of the bag approximately 1/2 an inch, then fold down again to help seal in the steam.  Run your fingernail along the seam to make a stronger fold which helps keep the bag closed.  (Alternately you can seal the bag a regular staple, see note below).
  • Lay the bag on its side in the microwave making sure it doesn’t touch the walls of the microwave.
  • Cook on high for 2-3 minutes until pops are about 3 seconds apart.
  • Remove from microwave, open carefully to avoid steam.  Top generously with salt, butter, olive oil, cheese or whatever other toppings you enjoy!


  • Sealing the bag – I used to seal the popcorn bag with 1 or 2 staples (believe it or not it doesn’t spark if you stick to standard size staples and don’t use more than 2).  Then one day I couldn’t find the stapler and just folded the bag down with a good crease and it worked great!  This method works perfectly as long as you don’t overstuff the bag, then all bets are off!  If for some reason you have problems keeping the bag closed and don’t want to use staples you could alternately use a piece of masking tape or cut two slits near the center of the fold (roughly ¾ of an inch deep and about ¼ inch apart).  This creates a little tab that can be folded down to keep the fold in place.
  • Toppings – I like my popcorn with a heavy dose of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Other tasty combos are parmesan cheese, onion and garlic powder or sea salt and brown sugar for kettle style corn.  I prefer to add the toppings after popping because it makes less mess and the kernels pop just fine without it (their popping ability has to do with the moisture content inside the kernel, not inside the bag).  Choose whichever toppings and method make you happy!
  • Kernels – popcorn kernels dry out over time and become harder to pop.  You can reduce the number of duds by buying kernels from a store with good turn over and using them within a few months.  My personal favorite are the multi colored organic kernels sold in the bulk section of Whole Foods (organic also ensures that the corn is not GMO) but I’ve also had good results with the regular stuff at the grocery store.

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One Response to “Homemade Microwave Popcorn”

  1. Donna says:


    Thanks for this suggestion. I am looking forward to trying this idea. Good savings and less ingredients are always a plus! I recently had popcorn served as an appetizer at a local restaurant that used curry to season it. It was unexpectedly delicious!


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